Brentford 3, Luton Town 1

One down, three to go, Yarmoliuk hares through the Hatters

Hat’s off to Bees

Having been given a dusting by Liverpool and then edged out by Arsenal, the Bees were patently determined of getting back to winning ways. They need not have worried. Last season qualifiers for the Premier League, The Hatters – so named because of the town’s history in the titfer trade – have been struggling since its start and their visit to the Gtech Community Stadium did nothing to suggest happier days were imminent.

The first half saw Brentford dominate the visitors, creating a string of chances without converting any of them into goals. Early on, Bryan Mbeumo came close, firing a shot past a post. Sadly, this has not been exactly a rarity in his game, but the paucity of Luton’s own efforts to get on the scoresheet suggested the sprightliest of the Bees’ attacking force might be better rewarded this time out.

Not so, although Mbeumo’s non-stop industry ensured that he was, once again, the pick of a home side lacking seven or eight players who as often or not would come near the front of the queue if not nursing debilitating injuries. (The most recent of these was full-back Kristoffer Ajer, hurt seriously enough during the pre-match warm-up enough to take no further part in the proceedings.)

As it was, few interesting incidents occurred. Luton goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski, having irritated referee Anthony Taylor and the home crowd by apparently adopting slow-motion whenever required to return the ball into play, was issued with a yellow card for time-wasting. It seemed to speed him up no end.

Mine! says Meeee

And when the visiting captain, Tom Lockyer, needed attention to hobble from the field he set set up a rare double event, Jacob Brown replacing the skipper after the break.

An unchanged lineup seemed to be somewhat chastened upon resumption and went ahead just four minutes after the restart. Pressure on Luton within their goal area saw the marauding Ben Mee – another splendid performance from him – help the ball on its way to Neal Maupay – quiet for most of the preceding half – who scored from close in.

If Mee was downhearted by his goal evaporating, it took only seven more minutes for him to put matters right, soaring above friends and foes alike to despatch a forceful header beyond Kaminski.

Strangely, this double-whammy perked up Luton and the Bees increasingly discovered they could no longer have their own way. The aforementioned Brown became a pest and might have scored had he not directed a shot towards a corner flag rather than the goal, but with fifteen minutes left a Bees’ defensive error allowed Ross Barkley to provide a penetrating pass for the sub to finish neatly.

Wissa the wizard of touchline ball control

The goal added fuel to their continuing raids on the Brentford defence, but it was too little too late. And when two of Thomas Frank’s subs combined – Keane Lewis-Potter to do the foraging, Shandon Baptiste the finish – it was all over bar the scampering of home and away supporters to escape a wicked chill that would take brave men to stay for the head coach and Brentford players’ lap of honour.

Come the following day, Chelsea managed to beat Brighton and establish themselves exactly equal with Brentford in wins, draws and goal difference. My mate Charlie wanted to know – and so did I – why Chelsea’s figures were above Brentford on the BBC chart. What happened to good old alphabetical order? asked Charlie.

Don’t know, I told him. Well, said Charlie, I’ll eat my hat!

Brentford: Flekken; Ghoddos (substitute Roerslev 77m). Pinnock, Mee: Janelt, Onyeka, Nørgaard, Yarmoliuk (sub Baptiste 70’); Mbeumo (sub Lewis-Porter 78’). Maupay (sub Peart-Harris 78’), Wissa.

Luton: Kasminski; Mengi (sub Giles 76’), Lockyer (sub Brown 45’), Osho; Kaboré, Mpanzu (sub Clark 60), Barkley; Bell, Chong, Ogbene (sub Townsend 60’); Morris (sub Adebayo 60’).

Bill Hagerty is a contributing editor for the Bees United website. Photographs by Liz Vercoe.

Bill, who lives in Chiswick and is a former Fleet Street editor, has been named Journalist Laureate 2023 the London Press Club awards:

READ ALSO: Former Fleet Street editor, Chiswick resident Bill Hagerty, is named Journalist Laureate 2023

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

Thieves who targeted high-value cars in Chiswick and west London jailed

Image above: Montage of the gang members; Met Police

Thieves attempted to steal Declan Donnelly’s car in Chiswick

A gang responsible for a series of high-value car thefts in Chiswick and west London, as well as an attempted cash machine heist in Brentford, has been sentenced after a failed robbery led to their identification.

The crew, believed to have stolen vehicles totalling £750,000, attempted to take TV star Declan Donnelly’s Range Rover in April 2021 from his Chiswick home. Four gang members, including 20-year-olds Alfie Chandler and Tommy Hutchinson, were convicted for this attempted theft. Chandler admitted guilt while Hutchinson pleaded not guilty.

During the attempt at Mr. Donnelly’s home, the gang used tools on the property’s gates but failed to gain access. Alerted by a neighbour, the police arrived, prompting the intruders to flee.

The gang’s activities were finally uncovered by the Met’s Flying Squad after a comprehensive investigation spanning several years. One significant event occurred on February 6, 2020, when five members attempted to extract an ATM from a convenience store on London Road in Brentford. Their attempt failed, leading to a hasty retreat, leaving behind a van and tools.

Forensic analysis of these items linked back to one of the individuals involved, leading to further identification through detailed phone data. The investigation uncovered the gang’s involvement in multiple high-value vehicle thefts in West London between January and July 2021, utilising sophisticated devices to replicate car keys. In total, they stole 14 Range Rovers and BMWs.

Fourteen men were arrested and charged with various offences related to drug possession, driving, burglary conspiracy, and theft conspiracy. Twelve pleaded guilty, with the remaining two found guilty during court hearings. All fourteen have been sentenced at various stages.

At Kingston Crown Court, nine men received sentences ranging from three years to suspended sentences. The leader, Ellis Glynne, received seven years, while others, including Connor Murray, James Brandford, and Robert Green, received varying sentences.

Detective Sergeant William Man from the Met’s Flying Squad led the investigation and said:

“These men thought they were above the law and believed they could get away with their crimes.

“They were extremely organised and determined but our team worked incredibly hard to identify all those involved and gather such compelling evidence against them that they had no choice but to plead guilty.

“I am pleased that justice has been served and that people in London can feel safer knowing that this group is no longer a threat.”

Packed church service remembers the dead, including 12-year-old Jack Hollis

Image above: Candles lit on the altar at Christ Church during the service led by Rev Nicola Moy

Chiswick residents join annual service of reflection to remember Jack, who died last week

There was a packed and ‘very moving’ service at Christ Church, Turnham Green, on Sunday (3 December) at which local people were given space to share their grief for local boy Jack Hollis.

Jack, who was 12 years old, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday 29 November after being diagnosed with cancer, which was only discovered in July.

The service of reflection is one which happens every year and is open for all who have grief or sadness at this time of the year. The congregation listened to hymns and bible readings throughout the service, which lasted roughly for an hour and 20 minutes.

Attendees lined up at the start of the service to lay candles on the altar. Later in the service they returned to the altar to light the candles. Reverend Nicola Moy closed the service with:

“We have lighted these candles in the memory of many people and as an expression of much that is hard for us. But also as a reminder that of the hope that light will come in the morning.”

Rev. Moy then closed with a final blessing for the congregation.

The Hollis family are well known in Chiswick because of the tragedy they suffered in February 2010 when baby Tommy Hollis was killed by a falling lamppost. He was being pushed in his buggy by his nanny when the lamppost outside Chiswick Town Hall toppled over and baby Tommy suffered devastating head injuries.

The foundations of the lamppost had been inadvertently severed when the road was being widened. An inquest jury decided two years later that it had been an accident.

The Tommy Hollis Charitable Fund was set up by his parents Chris and Kate, to help underprivileged, sick and orphaned children and parents who have lost a child.

The condolence book will remain at the church for a while longer and anyone wishing to write in it. Contact the church’s office for more details:

Image above: Congregation line up to light candles for Jack Hollis

South Parade resurfacing to take place this week

Image above: Works have been taking place on the road since the end of October. Picture: Facundo Arrizabalaga/MyLondon

Ealing Council says delay to work is unlikely as concerns for delays raised

A scheduled road closure is set to have an impact on South Parade for at least two days this week, marking the culmination of a five-week long project to repair the kerbs.

So far, the closure has only affected a single lane on the carriageway at any given time and contractors have removed temporary traffic lights during non-operational hours.

Considerable delays are likely in the area when the road undergoes resurfacing. The closure is slated for Monday, December 4, and Tuesday, December 5, with the potential for extension into subsequent days in case of unforeseen delays.

The closure will span the distance from the Fishers Lane roundabout to the junction with The Avenue. Previous closures rerouted traffic up The Avenue and along Southfield Road to reconnect with South Parade via Acton Lane.

This diversion is expected to redirect a significant volume of traffic through other residential streets in the Bedford Park and Acton Green area. Ealing Council said they expected minimal disruption.

Entry into Esmond Road, The Orchard, Newton Grove, and Bedford Corner will be restricted during this period..

The entirety of the road project is scheduled for completion post-resurfacing, bringing relief to local businesses concerned about its adverse impact on Christmas shopping. One café owner highlighted the cumulative effect of South Parade works, additional roadworks, and traffic constraints, resulting in commutes ballooning from a 10-minute trip to an hour-long ordeal.

Ealing Council has repeatedly dismissed calls to reopen Fisher’s Lane, which critics regularly call for whenever there are road works nearby. LB Ealing councillors ratified a recommendation in September 2021 to make the traffic restrictions on Fisher’s Lane permanent, which was approved by Hounslow Council in 2022 – as the road spans across both boroughs

Despite concerns raised, Ealing Council refutes the idea of any serious delays attributable to the South Parade works. They say neither London Buses nor Emergency Services have registered apprehensions about the timing of the ongoing project.

A council spokesperson cited the borough’s tradition of halting all highway works in town centres for three weeks leading up to Christmas. This measure aims to mitigate disturbances during the festive period.

Chiswick Area Forum to focus on youth employability

Image above: Chiswick Town Hall – the venue for Chiswick Area Forum; Chairman of this year’s forum Cllr Gabriella Giles 

Tuesday, 5 December from 6.30pm at Chiswick Town Hall

The next Chiswick Area Forum, on Tuesday 5 December, will focus on youth employability, with presentations from a local employer; charities that teach skills for life; from students of Chiswick School who will give their perspectives on the world of work; and Hounslow council on its Youth Skills Guarantee Scheme.

The event starts at 6.30pm with a marketplace of stalls about organisations offering employment, training and skills development as well as festive refreshments. The formal meeting starts at 7.30pm.

Councillors hope the forum will particularly appeal to students who will soon be starting work and who would like to know about local opportunities, and their parents, grandparents or anyone who is keen to support young people to gain skills.

They would also like to hear from young people who have worked, whether part time in school holidays or occasionally at weekends, about their experiences and what they wished they’d known or been able to do before taking their first job.

Cllr Gabriella Giles, this year’s chairman of the Chiswick Area Forum, has brought together an “extremely varied” group of people and organisations to explain what they do and find out what local students want. Cllr Giles said:

“I wanted specifically to look at the future of the world of work for the new generation and in particular at opportunities in Chiswick and the borough.  There are so many fantastic ways to gain skills to improve employability, skills that will be needed across the employment spectrum, and I wanted to publicise them.

“I also want to hear from local students about their experiences of work, their fears and the concerns that might put them off working locally, and what they would like employers to provide to help their employability. It doesn’t matter what those first work experiences are.  They all teach skills that are needed throughout a career, whatever that career might be.”

Presentations will be given by:

  • A local employer on skills needed and skills to be gained
  • The Hogarth Youth Centre on how it develops young people for the world of work
  • Chiswick School students on what they want from their first jobs
  • Hounslow Council’s Youth Skills Guarantee Scheme and what it offers school students

The marketplace stalls include:

  • Adult education
  • Brentford Football Club
  • Metropolitan Police careers
  • University of West London
  • West London Works

The Truman Show (1998) – Film review by Andrea Carnevali

The Truman Show ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

An insurance salesman discovers his whole life is actually a reality TV show. Chiswick Cinema is screening The Truman Show for Andrea’s next film club night on Tuesday 5 December 2023 at 8pm, when the film will be shown with an introduction from Andrea and a discussion afterwards.

Re-watching The Truman Show 25 years after its original release, I was pleasantly surprised to see how well it still holds up—sharp, thought-provoking, and current.

And to think this was written and made a few years before the very first Big Brother and the idea of Reality TV was even a thing!

It is one of those rare products in Hollywood that manages to be gripping and very entertaining as well as clever and, at the risk of sounding a bit full of it, intellectually stimulating.

All courtesy of the Oscar and BAFTA winning script by Andrew Niccol, who seamlessly blends elements of drama, satire, comedy, and existential themes, masterfully navigating the balance between Truman’s personal journey and broader societal commentary.

It is obviously a film about the influence of television, the way we consume it, as well as a not-too-veiled, but very sharp critique of the corporate world behind it, media manipulation and consumerism (the product placements in the film are indeed hilarious and make the satire sing!)

But this is a film with layers. It’s crammed with themes, meanings, metaphors, Easter eggs, all of which offering a compelling narrative, constantly prompting the viewers to reflect on the nature of freedom, reality, the pursuit of truth and that desire for genuine human connections.

Jim Carrey, known at the time primarily for his comedic roles and his rubber face, was a surprising revelation (the film earned him a Golden Globe). He delivers a standout performance showing a versatility and an emotional range we didn’t know he had (and something which he developed even more successfully, in films like Man on the Moon and the splendid Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind).

He manages to convey Truman’s internal conflict and growing disillusionment effortlessly, from his initial naivety to gradual suspicion and eventual rebellion. The film works as well as it does mostly because of our investment in him throughout.

He lives in a meticulously orchestrated and Stepford-wives-like world where every aspect of his daily life is staged by a sort of film-director, Christof (Ed Harris), from his TV station up in the sky (all references to religion and playing God are clearly intentional).

His performance is stunning (he deservedly got both an Oscar and a BAFTA).

He’s mostly framed in big close-ups and he seems to do everything with his eyes only: his portrayal of the enigmatic creator is both authoritative and enigmatic, icy and warm, blurring the line between manipulation and paternal concern for Truman’s well-being.

On the whole, The Truman Show is a masterclass in visual storytelling.

Peter Weir’s distinctive and carefully crafted direction helps to convey the idea of a man who is constantly being watched.

High-angle shots are used to depict the omnipresent surveillance and control over Truman’s life. In contrast later on, low-angle shots are used to empower Truman when he starts questioning his reality.

Meanwhile the cinematography enhances the divide between the “perfect reality” and the artificial world of the control room, from warm and bright colours, to steely and dark ones.

All under the (intentionally) cheesy and manipulating notes of soundtrack by Burkhard Dallwitz and Philip Glass, mesmerizing and evocative, ethereal and poignant, all of which enrich the film and Truman’s emotional journey.

The brilliance of the film is that we as viewers also become just as much voyeurs as the audience the film is actually poking fun at.

In other words, I don’t really have a bad thing to say about this film.

It deserves its modern classic status and I cannot wait to be remembering it with my clever audience this coming Tuesday.

Church service to remember 12 year old Jack Hollis

Sunday 3 December at 6pm

There will be a service Christ Church, Turnham Green, at which people will be given space to share their grief for Jack Hollis, at 6pm on Sunday 3 December.

Jack, who was 12 years old, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday 29 November. He had cancer, which the family only discovered in July.

Christ Church says ‘there will be space in this service for all ages to express sadness and to remember Jack and the whole family at this time.’

The Hollis family are well known in Chiswick because of the tragedy they suffered in February 2010 when baby Tommy Hollis was killed by a falling lamppost. He was being pushed in his buggy by his nanny when the lamppost outside Chiswick Town Hall toppled over and baby Tommy suffered devastating head injuries.

The foundations of the lamppost had been inadvertently severed when the road was being widened. An inquest jury decided two years later that it had been an accident.

The Tommy Hollis Charitable Fund was set up by his parents Chris and Kate, to help underprivileged, sick and orphaned children and parents who have lost a child.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

Hounslow Council unanimously supports Cargo Bike scheme

Image above: Councillor Ron Mushiso on his cargo bike and Councillor Jack Emsley

Bikes with space for cargo increasingly popular in the borough

Hounslow councillors voted unanimously on Tuesday to back a Conservative motion to support the rollout of cargo bikes across the borough.

The motion to improve sustainable cargo transport in Hounslow was proposed by Councillor Ron Mushiso (Chiswick, Gunnersbury) and seconded by Councillor Kuldeep Tak (Feltham North).

It called for a range of measures to be adopted by Hounslow Council, including grants for businesses looking to adopt cargo bikes, implementing specialist training for business employees and assessing the use of developer and TfL funds to create courier hubs.

Councillor Ron Mushiso is a regular cargo bike user, and actively uses the sustainable form of transport as part of his voluntary work with the Chiswick Flower Market.

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Mushiso said:

“I’m so pleased councillors on both sides united to back my motion on cargo bikes. As a cargo bike user myself, I know how efficient this mode of transport can be, not to mention the fantastic environmental and health benefits associated with increased cargo bike use.

“It’s a fantastic mode of transport both for local businesses and for our borough more widely, look forward to seeing the measures backed on Tuesday implemented widely across the borough.”

Man shot in the face in Shepherds Bush

Image above: Devonport Road; image Google Streetview

Man in his 20s injuries not deemed to be life threatening

A man was rushed to hospital after being shot in the face on Devonport Road, Shepherds Bush. His condition is not deemed life threatening. The incident occurred in the early hours of Wednesday (29 November).

Police officers and the London Ambulance service attended the scene after reports of the shooting at 2.32am and a man in his late 20s was found with a wound to his face.

Forensics officers remained on the scene through the day and the road was closed. The residential street runs between Uxbridge Road and Goldhawk Road.